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Schrader, Mullin Champion Bipartisan Bill to Improve Prescription Access for Seniors and Vulnerable Americans

Today, U.S. Representatives Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-02) introduced the bipartisan Long-Term Care Pharmacy Definition Act of 2021. This commonsense legislation is the House companion bill to the Senate version, introduced by U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Long-term care (LTC) pharmacies provide medication management for many seniors and other vulnerable Americans living in long-term care communities, such as senior living and mental health facilities, who may need to take many prescription drugs per day to stay healthy. These LTC pharmacies especially proved invaluable to our seniors during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them access to vital prescriptions without putting themselves or their communities at risk. But despite their unique role in providing specialized care, LTC pharmacies are subjected to the same regulations as large retail pharmacies and have not been eligible to receive critical federal funding throughout the health crisis that could have been used to serve more Americans in need.

Our bill would address this issue for the first time by providing for a definition for LTC pharmacies that will be recognized under federal law. The clarity would eliminate the significant regulatory roadblock that has led to interruptions in prescription management for America’s seniors. 

“Long-term care pharmacies have been playing an essential role in serving our seniors and other vulnerable Americans during the pandemic by safely providing the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy, but regulatory confusion is holding them back from arranging full, specialized patient care,” Rep. Schrader said. “More than ever before, we need a clear and consistent regulatory framework that defines long-term care pharmacies in a way that reflects the crucial services they provide to our nation’s seniors. Our commonsense, bipartisan legislation will offer greater governmental oversight without an added cost to our healthcare system, so we can finally ensure our vulnerable neighbors get the right advice and support for the often-complex group of medications they need in these care facilities.”

“Long Term Care Pharmacies provide critical services for seniors, who often rely on multiple prescriptions to maintain their health,” said Rep. Mullin. “Because there is no statuary definition for LTC Pharmacies, they must negotiate a patchwork of vague, inconsistent provisions, which can disrupt services and impact care for seniors. This commonsense legislation will help agencies give more consistent regulatory direction as well as streamline services to residents.”